Friday, November 17, 2017


Over the weekend, I enter a new decade and turn 30 so I thought it would be fun to share thirty facts about me, especially since this little blog has been a bit neglected recently.

1. I grew up in a suburb of Charlotte after moving out of the city in second grade and my parents still live in my hometown, which I love since they are only 40 minutes from me now.

2. I knew I wanted to work in education from the time I was really young and would play school with my stuffed animals.

3. I attended college at Furman University, which is a small liberal arts school in South Carolina. Go Paladins!

4. I completed my master's degree in a super busy 13 months while teaching full time. I was engaged and didn't even attend my own master's graduation because I was in the middle of our move to New Jersey.

5. When I resigned my first teaching job to relocate, it was kind of a blind leap of faith because I didn't have a new one yet. I ended up being hired to teach intercity and it was so challenging but also really helped my career in so many ways.

6. I took a transfer after my first year and then taught in an amazing district the rest of my time in New Jersey. I loved it so much that I had a really hard time accepting that we were leaving, even though that meant I was coming home to the Carolinas.

7. I adopted Riley at college graduation. Corey and I had just started dating several months before and it was definitely an ask for forgiveness not permission type situation.

8. When we lived in New Jersey our apartment had Empire State Building views but was only 700 square feet. That was a challenge when we were first adjusting to living together and married life but I am now so grateful that I stepped out of my comfort zone to move there and would encourage absolutely any woman in their 20's to spend at least a year or two in the NYC area.

9. My favorite flowers are peonies and hydrangeas. I love having real flowers in my house but I don't buy them for myself often.

10. I have a crazy obsession with HGTV and I got so many ideas for our home renovations from watching it so all that HGTV time in the early months of nursing paid off.

11. My favorite movie growing up was the Wizard of Oz and the Tin Man was my first love.

12. My favorite food is pizza but only thin, crispy NY brick oven style pizza. I am serious pizza snob.

13. My second favorite food would definitely be steak with a lobster tail, a loaded baked potato, and a big class of cabernet.

14. Despite the last two statements, I strive to eat healthy most of the time. I have been really fortunate to be able to study nutrition and have learned so much about food that I didn't know before.

15. Corey and I built our first home in 2013 but only lived there a short two and a half years. I am pretty obsessed with our new home but still...there is just something about your first house, especially when you built it, that steals a piece of your heart.

16. I drink way too much coffee - at least one cup every day but I brew my morning cup at home to save money.

17. My mom is a huge coffee drinker, too, and every single day of their marriage my dad has made her coffee for her.

18. My favorite color is pink and I always gravitate towards light, feminine designs and colors.

19. I left the classroom the year after Madeline was born and I now work part-time from home, which is sometimes the best of everything and sometimes total, complete chaos.

20. Entrepreneurship has always been an interest of mine, even way back to my teenage babysitting club days. I earned my first paycheck as my own boss when I opened my Teachers pay Teachers store almost five years ago.

21. I am so super Type A about so many things in my life but with others I have a complete laissez-faire attitude. There is no in between.

22. My favorite city is Charleston, South Carolina and it holds so many of my favorite memories from childhood.

23. Corey and I met when my best college-friend was dating his roommate. We were seniors and Corey and his roommate had just graduated from Clemson and moved to Greenville for work.

24. Corey works in finance and upon his insistence we started following some Dave Ramsey guidelines when we relocated back South.

25. It caused so many tears having to say no to things I wanted but is a really awesome system and we now have no student loans or car payments and don't use credit cards. This allowed us to be able to put a larger percentage down on our home and for me to leave my full-time job after Madeline was born.

26. In college I studied abroad in Italy and it is on my bucket list to return to Europe again soon. My ultimate vacation would be a Mediterranean cruise.

27. I really love to travel but my favorite place to be is in our home, hosting some close friends, and a big glass of wine.

28. Planning parties and hosting guests is a huge passion of mine. I love to entertain and having people in my home makes me immensely happy.

29. I grew up with larger dogs that spent most of their time outside so Riley was my first small, indoor dog. He thinks he is a person and makes himself perfectly comfortable on all the furniture I insisted he would never be allowed on.

30. I am excited for this new decade and all it has to offer. I really loved my 20's and learned a lot. Probably one of the biggest lessons and the one that caused the most heartbreak was learning when to step away from letting my job consume everything and to prioritize experiences and family over those other obligations.

My biggest goal for this new decade is to travel more, spend time loving on my family, continue growing my businesses, to take life a little less seriously, and to follow my heart.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Closet Wishlist (and what I'm wearing recently)

The weather in North Carolina has finally cooperated and it feels like fall at last. I have really enjoyed being able to pull out some favorite fall clothes and try out some new ines.

I have done a lot of shopping in recent months due to doing no shopping for two years when I was pregnant and then nursing. I have quite a few other fun things on my list still. 

The first is this peplum bell-sleeve top. It comes in several colors but I am loving the pink. It has a velvet tie in the back so I think it would look so cute with black leggings and over the knee boots or booties.

I am also loving this little flounce dress. It is much cuter and more flattering in person. I see it paired with cute booties or over the knee boots also. I love the purple and navy. This outfit would be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.

The final item I have on my wishlist are these boots. They come in three colors but I have my eye on the black. I have a pair of cognac over the knee boots that I love and I would like to add a black pair to my closet also. These would pair perfectly with the velvet bow-top above. Similar, less expensive version here.  

Here are a few outfits I have been wearing lately. 

I picked up this vest after seeing it on Laura Godfrey to wear with jeans and a bell sleeve top. I am loving that look but tried something different over the weekend when we went to a gender reveal party for our friends - my favorite leggings, black tunic, and vest. These riding boots were a birthday gift three years ago and I love them. They still look great and are so comfortable.

I am a huge fan of white tees with a little interest paired with jeans - just a simple no-fuss outfit. I picked up this tee over the weekend and paired it with my favorite distressed jeans. These are super inexpensive but I love them. I wore it with ballet flats but I also think this would look cute with my converses.

I wore this for a double date with our friends. We finally tried Haberdish for all the local ladies and it was delicious! This sweater was purchased from Antropologie on clearance over the summer but this and this are also such cute cold shoulder options. 

Talk to me about your favorite fall outfits. What are you loving to wear this fall? 

Friday, November 10, 2017

5 on Friday

Happy, happy Friday! I am so glad that the weekend is here. The daylight savings transition has really worn us out around here!


This little girl has been having so much fun at preschool. They upload pictures every week and I so enjoy seeing her silly little personality come out in school. 

I made these easy, cheesy spaghetti squash boats this week and they were a hit. Madeline loved them and slurped up the squash noodles just like she does when she has regular pasta. I roasted the squash while simmering some lean chicken sausage, a jar of Thrive Market pasta sauce, and some spinach on the stove. Then stuffed that mixture in the squash, gave it a stir, and topped with 1/4 cup of cheese and popped them back into the oven. I am so, so picky about jarred sauces but I am obsessed with the Thrive Market sauces. No added sugar or crazy ingredients and SO yummy!   Also a lot less expensive than some of the other quality sauces that you might find somewhere like Whole Foods. I love an easy, healthy dinner.